10Dec2014

Village Women Come Together To Solve Electricity Problem

The district of Mewat in Haryana, India is known for extremely low literacy rates, but low literacy did not serve as a deterrent to a women’s effort in Soondh. The women of Ekta Mahila Sangathan (women’s collective) have come together for the development of their village.altAnVbKDsi_iuCj4k3PgWHIa7Bca6wqB-1t1deplmQb8TZ

The women’s collective was formed with help from Sehgal Foundation in October 2014. The collective includes 40 women members from village institutions. These women received training on the rights and responsibilities of village institutions, and now prioritize activities for development of their village.

The women made solving the electricity woes of their village a priority. The village’s electric supply was highly erratic, and frequently disrupted villagers’ daily activities. “We have to stand in queue to get water for household consumption, but by the time our turn comes, the tap is often dry due to a power cut,” said Rajni, a resident of Soondh village.

Using the power of their knowledge, the women decided to demand that their village be provided with a minimum supply of electricity for 12-hours a day. 25 women gathered at the Electricity Board office in Tauru block to complain about the irregular power supply; however, the officer present refused to file the complaint. The women came back to their village disappointed, but did not give up hope.

altAkZkw8RfWr0x2yLBaBa1EFxuWpgAR-5_vOM6bg4OIvDsThe following week, the women went to the Electricity Board office again and were prepared to counter the arguments made by officials. This time, when the officer responded negatively, the women asserted that they could go to the state capital to find solution to their problem. After seeing the unity and power among these women, the officials agreed to restore the electricity supply in the village the next day.

Amarjeet, a member of the women’s collective, said, “The power supply is normal now. This task would not have been possible alone. This is the impact of unity among women.” The women in Ekta Sangathan strongly believe that the power of unity can remove all hurdles in their village’s path to development.

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